Classic Fondue – The Big Move

by Jenn on December 15, 2009

in Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Fondue is not something to serve when meeting your in-laws for the first time, or having a business luncheon. Actually when my family first met much of my husband’s family, we did have a fondue dinner.  But we had a good feeling everyone was going to get along just fine :) As many times as I have had fondue, one just cannot be polite.  You have to reach over people.  You are going to make a mess and get cheese everywhere.  Remembering to keep your elbows off of the table is the least of your worries when you accidentally drip melted cheese into the wine glass of the person next to you (ok, I’m a little bit of a klutz).  But it’s ok, because everyone knows that each bite will be delicious.

December seems to be the month for moving.  For example, Kamran recently moved his blog to a fabulously gorgeous new site.  My move is well, less blog related and a bit more physical.  Well, it is blog related.  Because in just a few short weeks I will be blogging to you from a completely different country!  Not just a different country, but a different continent even!  And I made fondue to celebrate and announce it to you all :)  Ha can you guess which country?  Yes, Switzerland!  The wonderful land of cheese and chocolate, gorgeous scenery, and fabulous bread.  We are so excited!

I have no idea how easy or difficult it is going to be to be gluten free for my husband in Europe.   But I definitely am going to not feel guilty enjoying delicious bread when he can’t,  hehe.  I have no clue what type of kitchen setup I will have, and what appliances/electrics we will be able to get (since there is no point in shipping over a food processor designed for an American voltage, etc), so we are packing light.  Bialetti stovetop espresso maker, ONE cookbook, and our Santoku.  Oh and I might order these combined measuring/scale cups and scoops to take with me too.  Not even bringing any pots or pans! Why just one cookbook?  Because transporting things across an ocean is expensive, and I have this blog as a great record for myself for recipes and links to some of my favorite foodies.  I want one book though, so that I can have something for instructions and technique, ideas so that I can effectively use what I learn to create new recipes, etc.  I’ve narrowed it down to five choices, after paring down from a list of about a dozen…

So check out the poll (either below or in the sidebar at the top of the page) – let me know which you think would be the most useful to have on hand.  Have any ideas I didn’t think of?  Let me know in the comments.  It is with a heavy heart that I pack away my small library (seriously my cookbooks fill an entire freestanding shelf), including Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, my collection of Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free books, my entire 20-some volume set of Bon Appetit cookbooks (they might be as old as I am but they are awesome), my gorgeous Stonewall Kitchen books full of recipes so fitting for having grown up in New England, some of my fun chocolate books, and my entire Cuisine at Home magazine collection.  It’s hard, but I have very limited space, and want the one book that is going to bring me the most value, reference, and utility.

Poll Closed

But I am digressing.  Back to fondue!  Oh how I LOVE gruyere cheese in seriously anything.  It has a sharp bite that just complements so many different flavors.  It might just be my favorite cheese out there, next to raclette.  But especially when combined with emmentaler and garlic and wine to make a rich creamy cheese sauce that is a good match for just about any food out there.  My favorite happens to be dipping apples into cheese fondue.  You don’t necessarily need a fondue pot to make fondue, just a saucepan on the stove will do, though it is useful to have something to keep the pot warm when you bring it to the table.  This is a fairly basic recipe, but a classic.  I don’t even have a recipe reference because my family has been making fondue ever since I can remember.  The key is stir in a figure 8 motion constantly, and add everything a little bit at a time.  Oh and use a quality cheese.  Mass produced stuff that only costs only $3/lb. tastes like it too.


1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
a little over 1 cup relatively dry white wine
8 oz. gruyere, grated
8 oz. emmentaler (think Swiss cheese, with the holes), grated
fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbs. cornstarch dissolved in  a couple tbs. kirsch/brandy
white pepper to taste

1.  Rub the garlic all over the inside of your pot.  Most recipes tell you now you are done with the garlic.  Go ahead and mince it and add it to the pot anyways.
2. Add a little over a cup of wine to the pot and bring to a simmer slowly (think med.).  Handful by handful, stirring constantly in a figure-8 motion, gradually add in the cheeses.
3. Add some nutmeg and the cornstarch/kirsch mixture.  Keep stirring until it all comes together in creamy deliciousness.  Season with pepper.  You don’t need to add salt because cheese is by nature quite salty.  Consistency not right?  Add a little more wine to thin, add a little more cheese to thicken.  Enjoy!



Lauren December 15, 2009 at 10:56 pm

So exciting hun! I got the gist that you were moving to Europe, but Switzerland sounds amazing! I think that in terms of cookbooks, the internet it the ultimate one, so choose the one that is the most worn and torn, that you love more than the rest (even minutely). If you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving? It sounds like it will be a fabulous experience! I can’t wait to hear about the GF situation there =D.

Jenn December 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Thanks! I am moving for work! It will def. be interesting to see what the GF situation is. I’m fine if we can’t find pre-made products, but I at least need access to some alternative flours – so we’ll see!

Erin Swing December 15, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Congrats! I’m so with you. It’s so difficult figuring out what I should bring to my internship to Spain. The husband is not coming :( but he will visit for Valentine’s Day. I think the most important “cook book” for me to bring will be Harold McGee’s On Food & Cooking. Definitely bringing my hardcore science books: Food Materials Science, Flavor Chemistry, Food Chemistry. Books weight so much but hold so much knowledge. (Hazan’s book is one of my all-time favorite!)

Erin Swing December 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Oh yeah. I had no problem at all eating gluten free in Switzerland, ever. Even when they seem like they’re arrogant Swiss jerks, they know their food, and won’t get him sick. I actually eat very well in Switzerland. GF Bread is difficult to find. Try the “Bio” stores. They are the Euro equivalent for natural food market/store. Always great gluten free options there! Good luck!

Jenn December 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Good to hear! Yep I’ve figured out bio=organic, and sans gluten is GF in French :) I understand about the chemistry books, I have an entire box devoted to just chemistry….which is why I don’t have much room for cooking…I may have to break my rule and bring Hazan anyways, I would never have learned to make pasta or risotto so successfully without her!

Jennifer December 15, 2009 at 11:04 pm

What exciting news! I hope you have a smooth and uneventful move. Can’t wait to get your blog updates from Switzerland! :)

Stacy December 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm

How exciting! I loved Switzerland, but was there briefly and am pro-gluten ;p

Good luck with the move!

Amy I. December 16, 2009 at 2:21 am

Congrats Jenn! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to hear about your adventures (and see pictures)!

Branny December 16, 2009 at 8:13 am

How long will you be gone!? I voted for Ratio — it helps you create new recipes all your own.

Woman with a Whisk December 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

Congrats! Sounds like a fun new adventure.

Woman with a Whisk December 16, 2009 at 9:49 am

PS-I agree with Branny!

Erin Swing December 16, 2009 at 10:23 am

Ratio is the smallest/lightest book. IMO the most useful, too. I have yet to make something from the joy of cooking that I like.

Charli December 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Switzerland!!! How exciting! I can’t wait to see pictures!

verO December 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm

My name is Veronique. I’m a swiss women living in the french part of Switzerland.
If you need some advises about the way of life in my country, I would be happy to help you.
Here is my e-mail, so if you are interested, please feel free to send me a mail.


Thierry December 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Hi, I came there with a link from foodgawker !
As a swiss citizen (yes I came from a small village 40km far from the village of Gruyères where everything come from (the fondue and the cheese)) the use of Emmentaler is really strange. Usually we mix 50% of mid aged gruyère and 50% of Vacherin Fribourgeois. I know that’s pretty hard to find Vacherin in the US (but I’ve found it when I was there).

Don’t worry to much about gluten free groceries there are plenty of them in our stores.

If you have any questions about the original fondue recipe or related to switzerland just ask me !

Welcome to my country !

Jenn December 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Hi and thanks! Hmmm I have never seen Vacherin Fribourgeois here in the states – but I will definitely have to amend my recipe and try it when I get there! Thanks for the correction – oh there are so many cheeses I am going to have to try….

kamran siddiqi December 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Jenn, thanks so much for the mention and your kind words. I had to click on this post from twitter. And when I did I began reading and eventually saw your mention about my site and I! Thank you!!

Congrats on the move. I’d say bring Ratio with you… The Joy of Cooking Cookbook can be found just anywhere on the globe, which means it would be a waste to take a book you can get anywhere. Ratio on the other hand is hard to find sometimes and is definitely worth taking with you.

That’s just my opinion.

I hope the move goes well! Enjoy that awesome bread!! :)

Elise December 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Congratulations Jenn! Sounds like an exciting move. And all cheese! and cured meats.

Karine December 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Congrats for your move! That is so exciting! :)

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